Category: NC – Durham

Copa Vida (Coffee) – Durham, NC »

The Basics

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Cuisine: Coffee Shop
Ambiance: Simple + Airy
Address: 2816 Erwin Rd, Suite 20, Durham, NC 27705
Neighborhood: Duke
Phone: 919.383.4900
Web Site: Copa Vida on Yelp
Must Taste (Coffee):

  • Coffee: A Latte with whole milk. They use milk from a local creamery, which makes the drink divine.

Best For: Group Outing (with friends or co-workers) or a coffee shop trip solo
What to Wear: casual (but casual-dressy is acceptable)Good to Know: the shop uses milk from a local creamery and that makes all the different in the quality of their beverages.
Fave Points: Use of local creamery’s milk (I believe the coffee beans are locally roasted, as well).
My Fave Dish: I absolutely loved my Vanilla Latte with whole milk. The froth was so decadently thick and the milk really made the drink.

Menu pricing and availability subject to change.

My Dish

After our dinner, my friend and I decided to take our conversation to Copa Vida to enjoy some post-dinner coffees.

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I wasn’t sure exactly what to get at first. When I hit up new coffee shops, I try to look for their specialty drinks but the menu at Copa Vida had all the traditional drinks listed. I decided to order my usual – a Vanilla Soy Latte.

Lucky for me, somehow the topic of the shop’s use of a local creamery’s milk came up, so I quickly switched to a regular Vanilla Latte. I asked the barista what kind of milk she suggested and she said to get the whole milk for the full effect. She was so right.

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The shop had quite a few tables, but they were simple set-ups without much padding and my friend and I wanted to relax on something more comfortable. We headed towards the front of the shop and found a cozy couch to set up on.

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I loved my red mug. I prefer ceramic (or just not disposable) mugs when I take my coffee inside coffee shops and this one was really neat-looking.

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Check out that froth.

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It was so thick. The froth even stuck to the sides of my mug when the drink was gone. Impressive! The barista was spot on with the whole milk suggestion. The milk and froth were the best part of my drink. I think this was one of the best lattes I’ve had ever.

Final Dish

I really appreciate places, like Copa Vida, that go out of their way to support other local businesses. The shop’s use of the local creamery’s milk was my favorite highlight of this spot. The space inside was pretty large and would probably support a large group. They also have wifi if you’re looking to setup your laptop. One downside of the shop is the limited hours. I believe they close pretty early (early for a coffee shop IMO). Their hours aren’t going to put me off, though…I’m already looking forward to another whole milk latte the next time I’m in Durham. This place may become a Durham must-stop for me.

Six Plates Wine Bar (Dinner) »

The Basics

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Cuisine: American Tapas
Ambiance: Modern Chic
Address: 2812 Erwin Rd, Suite 104, Durham, NC 27705
Neighborhood: Duke
Phone: 919.321.0203
Web Site: http://www.sixplates.com/
Must Taste (Dinner):

  • Wine: Six Plates is a wine bar! Try the suggested pairing for the dish(es) you select.
  • Side: Flavored popcorn of the day – taste the unique flavor offering – I’ve never seen popcorn like the popcorn served at Six Plates.
  • Tapas: Lamby Joes – this is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. Ground meats with fennel seed on ciabatta rolls make for a light tapas good for sharing between 2 people.
  • Tapas: Flatbread of the Evening – I loved the texture of the flatbread and the toppings were a big hit, too!

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Best For: Date, Group Outing (with friends or co-workers)
What to Wear: casual-dressy (no tennis shoes) to dressy
Good to Know: the restaurant doesn’t have traditional waiters. Sit at the bar if you want more interaction or help.
Fave Points: Unique dishes, small portions, suggested wine pairings, and especially the restaurant’s use of as many local ingredients as possible.
My Fave Dish: My fave dish came as a bit of a surprise to me. Turns out the Flatbread of the Evening (we got a flabread with a chickpea puree with local tomatoes, a cheddar cheese and a yogurt sauce) was my fave so far. The dish seemed quite simple, but the flavors went together so nicely. I thought the dish was flavorful but light and a delight for my palate.

Menu pricing and availability subject to change.

My Dish

I met up with a girlfriend for a girls’ dinner out at Six Plates Wine Bar in Durham, NC.

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I loved the modern ambiance inside and the black, white, and red color combination.

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I enjoyed the lighting inside – especially the chandelier.

Upon entering the restaurant, we were promptly greeted with a friendly smile from the owner, Matt, who helped us during our dining adventure for the evening.

Since the restaurant doesn’t have traditional waiters, and this was a first visit for both my friend and me, we decided to grab a seat at the bar.

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We started with one of the restaurant’s signature dishes – The “Tenured” Lamby Joes.

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Two mini sandwiches with ground meat, fennel seed, and lettuce on tiny ciabatta rolls. I thought these made a great starter for the meal and were perfect to share between the two of us.

Next up, we ordered the steak.

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We each had a glass of the Olivares Monastrell “Altos de la Hoya” Jumilla, Spain, which was the suggested wine pairing for the steak plate. I thought it was a great wine.

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Not too long after, our steak dish came out – braeburn farms sirloin – local asparagus hash | fig demi glace sauce. The steak was super tender and I loved the fig sauce. A nice savory-sweet combination.

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Matt surprised us by sending out the Tuna Tartar Tower on the house – My friend and I were on the fence about trying this one, but it was quite good (if you like raw tuna). The tuna was paired with jicama, avocado, and a lovely mango vanilla vinaigrette.

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We also ordered a small cup of the bacon-flavored popcorn because we were so intrigued by the idea of the uniquely-flavored popcorn. It was gooood!

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For our final (savory) dish of the night, we got the flatbread of the evening, which had a chickpea puree with local tomatoes, a cheddar cheese and a yogurt sauce. I think the flatbread was my fave dish of the night – it surprised me the most with its interesting combination of ingredients and light yet tasty flavor.

Next up…dessert!

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My friend and I each got a glass of the dessert wine – Robertson Winery Late Harvest Gewurtzraminer South Africa. I really enjoyed the dessert wine, and I don’t usually do dessert wines.

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While deciding on dessert, we perused the gelato menu, which had so many interesting flavors, I wanted to try one of each.

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Instead of trying to try all the gelatos, I settled on swapping out the goat cheese gelato in the dessert we ordered for the thai basil gelato. As for dessert, we ordered the Strawberry Shortcake. I had visions of fluffy, biscuit-y shortcake floating through my head as I waited for our dessert to arrive, so I was surprised to see a modern take on the dessert with a flaky nest of batter in lieu of the cake-like base I typically see. Though it wasn’t what I was expecting, I thought the shortcake “nest” was pretty cool and made for a fun presentation. Dessert was light and delicious.

Final Dish

Check out Six Plates Wine Bar in Durham, NC for a new take on tapas-style dinner. Choose from the six, seasonal tapas dishes offered or try one of their other dishes (flatbread, lamby joes, or olive plate). The wine pairings for each plate make choosing a wine extra easy for the amateur wine drinker. Those more experienced in the wine department may make their own selection from the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Additional drink options are available for the non-winos.

Try the Flatbread of the Evening and be sure to save room for dessert. Six Plates offers several unique gelato flavors like Olive Oil, Guinness, and Yuzu (yea, those really are gelato flavors).

Choose a seat at the bar for a more interactive experience or make your way to one of the swanky arm chairs if you want to get cozy. Either way, spend an evening at Six Plates to enjoy interestingly-delicious food paired with great drinks and escape in the modern-chic ambiance.